Punjab Health Minister Professor Dr. Yasmin Rashid has said that Pakistan intended to become measles free country by 2020.

She stated this while addressing an inaugural ceremony of Measles eradication drive at Children Hospital, here on Monday. Advisor to CM Punjab on Health Hanif Khan Pitafi, Dean Children Hospital Professor Masood Sadiq, MD Professor Saleem, DG Health Services Punjab Dr. Munir Ahmed, UNICEF Chief Field Office in Pakistan Mrs Bukhari, Dr. Rana Mushtaq, Dr. Qurtul’ain, Dr, Tanvir Hussain, WHO Chief in Punjab Dr. Jamshed, Representative of Gates Foundation Dr Aslam Ch and representatives from Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization GAVI were also present.

Dr. Yasmin Rashid said, “Let me clear that measles is not an ordinary but deadly disease, during 2016 alone 87 thousand children across the globe lost their lives due to Measles.”

She emphasized that prevention was better than cure saying “We have to spend 10 times more money on treatment if we do not care for prevention”. “Unfortunately Pakistan is listed in such countries where measles was still a danger” regretted Yasmin Rashid.

She vowed, “During anti-measles drive our primary focus would be those 3,500,00 children who had been declared malnourished in recent survey.”

While seeking cooperation of all walks of life she particularly pointed out role of media in this regard. About 11 million children would be injected anti-measles vaccine; injection would be administered to children who were 06 months to 7 years old, she said.

She also praised cooperation of international development partners like WHO, UNICEF, GAVI for anti-measles drive and said that she was satisfied on arrangements made by DG Health Dr. Munir Ahmed.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to CM Punjab on Health Hanif Khan Pitafi said that to save future of our children government efforts were not enough and every part of society should play their role. He directed health officers and respective district administrations to continually keep spot checking of field teams during all days of anti-measles campaign.